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How and what to watch for Western Kentucky vs. No. 11 BYU

For the first time, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and BYU Cougars will face off on a football field this Saturday.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson looks down field in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Texas State Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Provo, Utah. USA TODAY NETWORK

The BYU Cougars’ march toward a potentially undefeated season continues Saturday when they host the struggling Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The second year of the Tyson Helton era has not gone as expected for Western Kentucky. A 9-4 program in 2019, the Hilltoppers are 2-4 and have few probable victories remaining on the schedule. While Helton’s job doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy, the team badly needs to bound back over the next month to reclaim some of the momentum it built a season ago. 4.5 yards per play and 11 turnovers in six games are the problem, with leading rusher Tyrrell Pigrome having just 215 yards on a 3.7 average per carry.

A very different story has played out in Provo however. BYU is No. 11 in the nation after a dominating 6-0 start to the season, and has exploded offensively primarily due to quarterback Zach Wilson. A Heisman front-runner, Wilson finds himself on pace to break several program records, including completion percentage (currently owned by Steve Young). Wilson’s play has put him on the NFL’s radar as a potential first-round pick while lifting the Cougars onto the national stage for the first time in several years.

Western Kentucky and BYU have never previously played each other, making Saturday’s tilt the rare first-time matchup in college football.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Western Kentucky vs. No. 11 BYU on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Western Kentucky vs. BYU (-30.5)
Point Total: Over 52.5
Money line: N/A

  • Western Kentucky has gone 32-39-1 against the spread since the start of 2015.
  • The Hilltoppers have also hit the over 39 times and the under 33 times during that period.
  • BYU has a 39-32-0 record against the spread since the start of 2015.
  • Over that same span, the Cougars have hit the over 28 times, hit the under 41 times, and pushed once.

The Best Bet

With the moneyline off the board, look to total points. BYU has scored at will virtually all season and, assuming that continues, Western Kentucky needs to provide little in order to hit the over.

Pick: Over 52.5

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